The household Sportswear brand Nike has said that it is "deeply concerned by the disturbing" allegations of rape facing world famous footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the statement released, Nike also said that they were "monitoring the situation closely." The sportswear company has had a sponsorship contract with Ronaldo since 2003.
Nike's comments come on the heels of a decision by the Portugal football squad to leave Ronaldo out of the lineup for two upcoming matches.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), for whom Ronaldo is a brand ambassador, has also confirmed that is is monitoring the ongoing situation, but is yet to release an official statement.
Nike isn't the only company set to possibly distance itself from the football champion. Video game developer Electronic Arts (EA), who has featured Ronaldo's photo on the cover of its ‘EA Sports' FIFA video game series for the last two years, issued a statement to Reuters News via email, in which they reportedly said that, "we have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo."
"We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA's values," the company reportedly added.
it looks like #ronaldo career will be over soon with this sex allegations. whatever goes up must come down I guess… his sponsors are looking very closely— Forhad 'MUFC' Kamali (@ForhadKamaly) October 5, 2018
Kathryn Mayorga, a 34-year-old teacher, has alleged that the Juventus player raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in June 2009. She has since gone on to sue him in a district court in Clark County, Nevada.
After #Ronaldo rape allegations, Nike expresses deep concern about this issue. And #Nike stated that "We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation."#SportsArabia@Siphungule pic.twitter.com/wnkrUKINaX— National Sports Arabia (@NationalSports_) October 5, 2018
Miss Mayorga also claims that she was forced into signing a $375,000 out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.
She has pointed to the ‘#MeToo' movement as giving her the courage to speak out about her apparent ordeal. Miss Mayorga's lawyer, Leslie Stovall, has said that the alleged sexual assault has caused his client to suffer from what he described as "major" post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Some however, aren't so convinced by the claims.
How is it allowed for her name to be kept quiet yet she’s just torn down another man’s career and turned the world against him over one accusation that’s not even been proven to be true? Tell me that one #ronaldo— Ellie_may31 (@elliemaytaylor4) October 4, 2018
Ronaldo has proclaimed that his conscience is clear, and that he awaits the results of any formal investigation.
"I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in," said the athlete in a Tweet to his 75 million followers.
I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018
Ronaldo transferred from Real Madrid to the Italian team Juventus this summer for a total of 100 million euros. Juventus issued a statement this week on the allegations plaguing the star, throwing their support behind him.
"Cristiano Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus. The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion," Juventus said in a Tweet.
Since the Tweet was issued on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, shares in the club have fallen by about five percent.
On top of that, not everyone approved of the club's handling of the situation.
No wonder Ronaldo chose Juventus. They fit perfectly well. This incredibly embarrassing statement says it all. pic.twitter.com/a15HyqEk1X— Ekrem Idrizi (@EkremIdrizi) October 4, 2018
Juventus have chosen obfuscation and distraction rather than denial re Ronaldo rape investigation. The idea that an athlete’s “professionalism and dedication” is a relevant consideration in a sexual assault case is absolutely toxic pic.twitter.com/AElHFnMcBE— ⚽️ is a Country (@FutbolsaCountry) October 4, 2018
Don't think it's helpful to offer opinions on serious allegations — particularly on social media — but that Juventus statement is abhorrent.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) October 4, 2018
'Allegations do not change our opinion that he is a great champion' — this is bigger than sporting achievement, for goodness sake.